Allow me to be hyperbolic: you are at a crossroad in your life as your weekend arrives every Thursday. You have two choices — either you can squander the next 48 hours binge-watching shows on Netflix, or you pack it with so many activities that you end up over-stimulating yourself. The latter may make you crave for another day off to get over that weekend.
But the trick lies in striking a fine balance between the two. To borrow a popular airline’s catchphrase: when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Gulf News tabloid! has done the leg-work for you here and come up with a list of fun things to do this weekend.
IN THE MORNING …
Check out the BeYour Best well-being concept launched by the Fairmont The Palm, a programme that tries to blend fitness, nutrition and relaxation of the mind.
This journalist began her Friday morning with a circuit training workout called Pavigym. Full disclosure: working out first thing on a Friday morning isn’t my idea of an ideal start, but Pavigym did a great job of breaking down my resistance.
Imagine a bunch of adults playing a board game in disco settings with the latest hits blaring. The exercise floor has several markings and numbered grid along with LED settings on the wall. Our weapons are our jumps, squats and burpees.
While the room may resemble a gaming zone-meets-dancefloor, it’s not all play. Pavigym is a high-intensity workout and the markings on the floor serve as cues on what to do next. Our group was divided and each member of a group were given 30 seconds each to complete an exercise. My favourite was the Bosu Ball and sprinting on the numbered grid.
If you are nimble-footed, then you are likely to get your heart racing. The Dh75 class, which claims to burn as much 1,000 calories in 45 minutes, is all about making workouts fun. If high-intensity work out isn’t your thing, you can also try their meditative state-of-one yoga workshops that we tried towards the end. Even those who are not comfortable with meditation will be guided step-by-step on how to relax your mind. There’s no pressure to perform in this well-lit studio bathed in natural sunlight.
To book fitness classes go to fairmont.com/palm-dubai
IN THE AFTERNOON …
When was the last time you swam in an infinity pool, drank in the view of the iconic Burj Khalifa and soaked in some sun along with the views of the ever-changing Dubai skyline?
Before the summer sets in, be sure to try this offer at the Address Boulevard where you get to spend a day by the pool and nibble on some great food. As soon as we sunk into the comfortable lounge chairs near the pool, a waiter materialised with a tray of goodies. We had skipped lunch and there we worried if the nibbles would be enough to satiate us. But we needn’t have worried.
The mini beef sliders were done to perfection with crunchy fries, and the flat bread with cheese, and the ceviche — which was like summer in a bowl — were soul-satisfying.
There’s a platter of sushi to share, too. Down it with the complimentary pitcher of a fruit cocktail and feel yourself unwind.
If that doesn’t do the trick, there’s a DJ playing a string of upbeat songs. This is a perfect place for couples to spend some me-time. It’s glamorous and you get to squeeze in a mini workout at the pool. But if you are anything like me, you would just float around in the pool, drinking in the sunshine and the spectacular views from the terrace.
Check it out every Saturday from 2pm until 6pm for Dh295 per couple.
IN THE EVENING …
This is a perfect option for all those who love the movies, but wish to add a bit more sparkle to the viewing experience. Reel Cinemas has joined hands with American chef Guy Fieri to unite an array of fine food and films.
In the first licensed dine-in cinema at the Jebel Al Ali Recreation Club in Dubai, the usual suspects such as caramel popcorn and hot dogs are given the boot, as its snazzier cousins — burgers on brioche buns and home-style fries — and deconstructed nachos with cheese and jalapenos make their way to our table.
For Dh160, you get a movie ticket along with a choice of one starter and mains. Drinks and desserts are charged separately.
My partner and I arrived ten minutes early to place our order and to collect our tickets for Red Sparrow, the spy thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence.
As we took our seats, we realised that the plush leather chairs don’t recline. It slid back and forth towards the plank-like table in front of us. This wasn’t always comfortable, as we were used to seats that reclined a bit like in traditional UAE cinemas. The seating may remind you of study desk, albeit a swankier version.
However, once the freshly-made food materialises in front of you, such misgivings fail. We were told that our starters and drinks would arrive 20 minutes into the film. They were spot on.
The portions prepared at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen & Bar are generous. Our starters, awesome chicken tenders and trash can nachos, were the perfect start. Our servers were discreet as they quietly placed our platters with their heads bowed so that they don’t block our views to the screen. But the real hero of the evening was the supremely gooey and delicious bacon mac and cheese burger. Imagine this: the garlic-coated brioche buns are like two soft walls that house crispy bacon strips, wispy lettuce strands, gooey cheese and pickles. One bite into the juicy burger and you may forget the plot of the film.
My partner’s chicken cordon bleu pasta with its parmesan-coated crust and baked penne pasta bathed in creamy Dijon-alfredo sauce was soul-warming. This is a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. You strike that movie off your list along with a dinner that’s far from pedestrian.
Ticket price of Dh160 includes a starter and a main course. Go to reelcinemas.ae